This is the story of my daughter.
We always wanted a whole slew of kids. Four or five was our number and when we reached three, we needed to pause and take a breath. Things were difficult in many areas. Grief. Finances. Relationships. All areas took their toll and we put having more children on the back burner. In the fall of 2010, we felt released to start praying for the possibility of another child. During that time period, God made me aware of just how afraid I was to ask for a girl. I had wanted a daughter since I was a wee little thing and yet all I could see were the blessing of boys. I had surrendered my desire for a girl long ago, so much so that I was afraid to even ask anymore. So, I took a big breath and asked the Creator.
Through that time period, Sam (only 5 at the time,) starting praying for a baby sister. He wanted to name her Nabie and when asked why he wanted a sister, he said, “So I can love her.”
Days turned into weeks that turned into months. In the busyness of life, I squelched my desire and convinced myself I hadn’t even asked. While at a charity event, I told God I would take it as a sign that I was supposed to have a daughter if He let me win matching mother and daughter aprons.
The aprons are joyful and bright with large pink flowers and I wanted to cry because our God is so personally involved in our lives.
In late April of 2011, I had a vision of her. I am not prone to having visions, but this one was so clear. She was around the age of two or three, twirling around in a dance of light. I couldn’t see her face, but I know she was smiling. Joy was exploding from her. She had light brown baby soft hair that was in pigtails. They had a slight curl to them, as if a curling iron had given each pigtail a big ringlet.
She stole my heart that day.
On June 20th, while in the Florida Keys, I penned out a prayer. It is the prayer of my daughter.
“I ask you Father, in the name of your Son Jesus, for a daughter. I ask you for a girl who might reflect your beauty and grace. I beg for a girl who might bring joy and shalom (wholeness, positive blessing) to our family unit.
The desire for a daughter has not wanted through the years. Yes, I have lied and said I am content, but an inner ache remains.
Give me a daughter and a huge taste of how you feel about me as your daughter.
I pray that she would desire you above all else. I pray redemption over her at a young age. I proclaim my seed as blessed. I pray health and vitality over her. I pray life over her physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual parts. I pray a hedge of protection over her and that Satan would never be allowed to touch her.
I pray you give her a spirit that longs to serve and not seek the limelight or attention of others. At the same time, I pray she is able to use her God given gifts for your glory without fear or reservation.
I pray she is humble, submissive, compliant, and obedient. I pray she would love much and give much. I pray a knowledge and wisdom over her mind and spirit that could only be from you.
I pray purity over her whole frame and strength to withstand pressure. I pray a special bond of respect and love between she and her Daddy that won’t be marred with time.
I pray against any tension, anxiety, or jealousy over our mother-daughter relationship. I pray the wounds of expectation and never achieving the mark and rejection and fear of making decisions would not be passed down in the name of Jesus.
I pray Godly and pure girlfriends over her. I pray you would gift her with friends who aren’t worried about what the world thinks. I pray her whole life would be gifted with Godly friendships…from start to finish.
I pray a quiet and gentle spirit over her…the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which in God’s sight is very precious. (1 Peter 3:4)
I pray she would cherish the fact that she can be still and know that God is God, especially among a generation that finds it impossible to be still at all.
I pray she would have a healthy respect for authority and understand her God given female role in God’s story for her life.
I pray she would do others good and not harm. I pray the spirits of malice, bitterness, manipulation, and judgment would not be found in her.
I pray that she would always be able to laugh at the days to come and that worry would be far from her. I pray faith, rest, and shalom over her countenance.
I pray, Jesus, that you would fill her with awe and holy reverence for your name, the name above all names.
I pray a spiritual inheritance of knowing and loving the One True God over her.
I pray your delight might be in her. (Hephzibah: My delight is in her…Isaiah 62:4) I pray her life might offer a pleasing aroma to those around her. I pray her presence might bring life and a soothing balm of comfort to everyone she comes into contact with. I pray rest and tranquility over her countenance that is equally mixed with bubbly joy and a life lived to the fullest.
In vanity, I pray a head full of dark-thick-black hair over her and that she might resemble my beautiful Mother. I pray she is marked with outer beauty but remembered for her inner beauty.
I pray a special bond between her and her brothers. I pray that the differences in age would not be a deterrent to strong relationships and ties. I pray the boys would always have her back and treat her with the utmost love and tender care.
I pray that as she goes through life, her soul might always be able to say, “all is well.” I pray my favorite hymn might spill over into her life as well…that she too can say, “It is well with my soul.” I pray a song of praise in her heart that would spill forth from her mouth.”
A solid year passed after I gathered enough courage to ask for a daughter and still, nothing. When Sam got some pretend money, he saved it to buy his baby sister a dollhouse. During this waiting period, God started telling me to be courageous. I had no idea just how much I would need it.
Over these months, God started revealing Himself as El Simchah Giyl, God, my exceeding joy. His name literally was a double portion of joy and he started to promise me a double portion, as well. On December, 9, 2011, I took a pregnancy test. The line hinted at the faintest of pinks while the Creator and I celebrated in a triune of intimacy, even though I wasn’t quite sure yet if the results were accurate.
On December 13, Sam, six, made me a paper heart. He taped it right on my belly. He patted my belly and told me it was going to have to get really full for his baby sister. After getting the kids to school, I took another test. This time, the line quickly turned pink. I fell to the white bathroom rug, bowed low, and repeated over and over again, “Wonderful are Thy works, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
After getting Sam from half day kindergarten, I pulled into the driveway and noticed the pot of Gerbera daisies that Eric and the boys had gotten for me the previous June. The daisies were yellow, but only lasted a week or so. I was so sad to see them die, but I left the pot alone, hoping they might return. Imagine my astonishment when I peered into the pot only to see the tiniest beginning of a yellow Gerbera daisy poking its way out of the soil. Perfect little petals in a sunshine hue adorned the green stem. Typically, Gerbera daisies don’t even bloom in the winter! God had been extravagant in telling me that He was bringing about new life!
I was overwhelmed at God’s attention to detail and His involvement in my life.
Eric and I rejoiced over our baby for a solid seven days. And then, on December 19th, God swept her up into His presence. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do is flush the remains of my beautiful girl. My soul shattered and I swear fragments of it were flushed away with her. My lips achingly uttered the same Psalm, “Wonderful are Thy works, I know that full well.”
I miscarried, but I didn’t want to miss the spiritual enlargement that might come instead of a protruding belly.
God faithfully revealed Himself as the Master Gardener, the one who skillfully knows what to plant and what to uproot. It took time, but His grace refused to leave me in my empty and hopeless state. I learned that the gateway to abundant blessing is always through death. Seeds must be buried deep in the dark soil before they can ever rise to the surface in new life.
Months passed and Sam continued to speak life over me. He told me over and over again that I would be a Mommy again. I would cry and choke down my food and wait to see what God would do with the words of a six year old.
August 19th came, me sobbing on the stage. We were supposed to be in the hospital, peering into her beauty for the first time, and we had absolutely nothing to show for it. I had a double portion of ache that day, as I also mourned the ability to celebrate my sister’s birthday.
I was oblivious, but God had already implanted Asher Tate. I was pregnant this day, and didn’t even know it. I thought all was lost and yet God had already planted the seeds of restoration. He had brought about my double portion of joy, Asher (happy) Tate (happy.) God used him to bring a sense of completeness to our family as well as quench my desires for another girl.
Our daughter has a name. It isn’t any name that we would have chosen on our own, but it totally fits her. Her name is Daisy. When God allowed us to see the Gerbera daisy the same day we found out about our girl, we knew He was being extra gentle in giving us something tangible to hold onto until we could see her again.
I still have our matching aprons. My small garden is scattered with gerberas. She would have been three in a few weeks. I miss her madly. I look over the prayers I prayed over her and realize that God has answered so many of them. Satan never touched her. She does others good and not harm. She has such awe for the name of Jesus. The delight of the Lord is all over her. Every single day, her soul proclaims that all is well.
Straight into the Father’s arms she went. We share the beautiful inheritance of knowing and loving the One True God. One day, we will sing His praises together, hand in hand.